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Jump for Sam - The Photo Gallery

Saturday 14th June 2008

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14th June - the date that had been causing all of our pulses to race just a little faster.... The first 'SAM' Parachute Jump!! The Jump for S.A.M. was organised by Gayle Curry (Lisburn) in conjunction with Moonjumpers. After weeks of anticipation we all received our instructions in good time - and duly arrived at the Wild Geese Parachute Centre in Garvagh at 08.45 hours!

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After registration (and completion of the 'if you die it's not our fault' forms) we all gathered round for our briefing in the hangar as our nearest and dearest tucked into their tea and toast in the visitors centre... The instructor explained that we would all be attached to a sturdy bloke, who in turn would be attached to a parachute... We had a demonstration of the equipment followed by a 'dress rehearsal' in the 'pretend plane'. The first 3 jumpers were called and we all grimaced as we watched them get 'togged up' - not sure if we were excited or nervous!! We watched as they got on board the plane and waved them off as they sped down the runway. Quick photo stop for the rest of the team - 25 jumpers in all posed in their S.A.M. t-shirts beside the plane.

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It takes almost 20 minutes to fly to the height of 13,500 feet - as far as human beings can go without needing oxygen! 2.5 miles up - and I can tell you that it looks a lot different when you are looking out of the airplane window in the knowledge that in a few minutes you are going to jump out of the hatch! When the hatch opened and the first duo hopped out it seemed that everything had gone into fast-forward! Suddenly Gregor (the tandem master to whom I was attached) wriggled us to the opening of the plane, and then wriggled to the edge... For seconds I hung in mid air - and then we were away!!! I gasped as the wind filled my lungs - we somersaulted - I lost track of which way was the sky and which was the ground!

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We accelerated to 120 miles per hour and the g-force meant that my mouth, opened in a silent scream, would not close - and the wind ripped down my throat and into my lungs which felt like they might burst!!! I have never at one time been so terrified, so excited and so utterly exhilirated! 45 seconds later a jolt and then it felt as though we had been ripped upwards... The chute inflated, I caught a full breath and screamed for my mum! Once I calmed down Gregor calmly unclipped part of the harness and we floated like a cloud, admiring the beautiful Northern Ireland countryside in the morning sun from an angle I have never seen before! How utterly amazing - a feeling that I will never forget! So quiet, so peaceful as we floated gently towards the ground... In a few minutes the ground started to close up on us, and Gregor brought us to an expert landing and I lay there in a fit of nervous giggles covered in grass and parachute! Not the most elegant landing of the day - but I have to admit that part of me was glad it was over and I was back on terra firma. I ran to kiss my two boys, who were more than a little bewildered by the events of the morning!

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After our jumps we all tucked into some tasty sarnies kindly supplied by Subway and refreshments supplied by Coca Cola. By 12.30 it was all over - though for some, who caught the parachuting bug, it was only the beginning of their journey into a brand new hobby! Everyone headed home, their adrenaline levels returned to normal, with thoughts of the 'next time'!!

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The initial jump for Sam raised almost £10,000 and that if people still want to jump (or do a second jump!) they can do so by emailing us at info@pleasefixsam.com.

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